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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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whether productive capacity will be utilized rather than whether it is large enough.
Food-The Crisis That Has Not Materialized
In the developed regions, the impact of population growth on food supply needs has been limited for many decades and promises to continue on a "non-crisis" path indefinitely into the future. In contrast to the developing regions, the main elements are moderate to low rates of population growth, high and rising domestic food production capacities, adequate and expanding capabilities for obtaining food imports as needed, and the fact that food consumption varies much less than proportionately with per capita income. Furthermore, rates of population change in developed countries have generally been declining for over a decade and long-term declines in the future seem more likely than increases.
In the less developed regions, on the other hand, the need for cautious or even ambiguous forecasts has been demonstrated vividly in recent years. Fears of massive famine or at least growing threats of spreading starvation, expressed by numerous competent observers until very recently, have been abruptly succeeded by a largely contrary, equally substantial, and informed consensus.
Given all due precautions, the record and the main overall prospects are noteworthy, even startling. Widespread famine that could reasonably be attributed to economic incapability has not been observed in any of the less developed regions for decades. Fear of famine reached a peak in the mid-1960's, largely as a result of crop failure in parts of Asia coupled with dwindling international food reserves. These fears have been allayed by the elimination of recent shortages and the prospects for a long-run sharp upward trend in output of food grains.
The change in expert opinion seems to have stemmed from the agricultural turnabout in India, where 2 years of severe droughts have been suddenly followed by what many informed observers regard as a confirmed "Green Revolution."
Previous declines in international food reserves have been superseded by very large and rapid build-up of surpluses, which in any event have alwaysucture and other indicators of modernization); and birth rates well above